Lifts and Public Toilets, Places to Take Extra Precautions to Avoid Getting Infected

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Which are the places you can most easily get infected? The most dangerous places are lifts and public toilets. Door knobs have also been known to contain virus residue.

According to Dr Wang from the Duke-NUS Medical School, as compared to airborne transmission, the likelihood of getting infected from the Coronavirus is much higher through physical contact.

Dr Wang explained that the virus requires bodily fluids such as mucus, saliva, and others to be transmitted. A person can easily get infected by touching bodily fluids from persons who have been infected with the Coronavirus. Recently, the door knobs in the home of an infected person were found to contain traces of the Coronavirus, showing just how easily one could get infected by touching contaminated surfaces.

Dr Wang also added that other ways of getting infected include, coming face-to-face with an infected person, or being near an infected person who is coughing, or even entering a lift where an infected person had been coughing 30 secs earlier.

Many people are aware that wearing a mask (surgical/N95) can prevent infections, but not many actually know that the hands are the most easily contaminated part of the body.

As the new Coronavirus has yet to become an epidemic (spreading in the local community) in Singapore, the risk of infection in the country is quite low. However, Dr Wang advises that people still need to take precautions when heading outside. Dr Wang says that he takes extra precautions when taking the lift or using public toilets, and avoids touching any surfaces in these places.

Current medical research has yet to determine how long the virus can survive outside the human body, but previous studies show that Influenza viruses typically cannot live more than 24 hours out in the open, but is able to survive for more than a week in dark and poorly ventilated places.

As such, Dr Wang advises everyone to ensure that all places they frequent are properly ventilated. He also says that people taking public transport should always sanitize their hands when getting on and off the trains/buses.

While the new Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented worldwide crisis, people should not be overly anxious and worried. Taking the extra precautions can not only protect yourselves, but also the people around you.

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